Paper Promises

Paper Promises Cover

Paper Promises

Debt, Money, and the New World Order

By Philip Coggan

PublicAffairs, Paperback, 9781610392297, 302pp.

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

Longlisted for the 2012 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award
For the past forty years western economies have splurged on debt. Now, as the reality dawns that many debts cannot be repaid, we find ourselves again in crisis. But the oncoming defaults have a time-worn place in our economic history. As with the crises in the 1930s and 1970s, governments will fall, currencies will lose their value, and new systems will emerge. Just as Britain set the terms of the international system in the nineteenth century, and America in the twentieth century, a new system will be set by today's creditors in China and the Middle East. In the process, rich will be pitted against poor, young against old, public sector workers against taxpayers and one country against another.

In "Paper Promises," Economist columnist Philip Coggan helps us to understand the origins of this mess and how it will affect the new global economy by explaining how our attitudes towards debt have changed throughout history, and how they may be about to change again.

About the Author
Philip Coggan is a freelance journalist based in Cambodia. Australian by origin, he fell in love with Asia on his first visit to Bali, and has been travelling and living in the region ever since. His first novel, "Shiny Objects of Desire", was published in 2014, and a second will come out in 2016. He also writes a blog at